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Ian Challis




I'm Baaaaaaaaaack. And boy, does it feel GOOD.

Welcome to the weird and wonderful menagerie of my mind. It's been a long time since I stretched these particular creative muscles, but I'm determined to give it a go.

What's the deal with Ric Flair?

Yeah, the guy who drops his pants, drops his elbow and drops his lawsuits, for our younger readers out there. And it's the younger readers that are probably asking that question. What IS the deal with that funny-talkin' bleach blonde kiss-stealin' wheelin' dealin' jet flyin' limousine ridin' NAYTCHA BOY, WHOO! What IS the deal?

Because to all those who DON'T know the guy, to all those who weren't watching back in the 80s, to all those who ignored WCW's existence, Flair's just some guy in a suit who can't pronounce certain words. He's an old-looking retired guy with no discernable upside. He's a guy who is just...there. Now I, like most of the online fraternity, have followed Flair since the early days, and so I know and understand his legacy. But those who started watching in the era of attitude? Forget about it. He's just some guy. Why the Hell should they care?

To be honest, I'm inclined NOT to care. Since Flair's big return he's been put into backstage skits and little else, he's been pushed aside to make way for Vince's ass, and he's been ridiculed by the announcers for shouting WHOOOOOOOOO. In short, what should have been a big big thing has become an almost Flair-like flop. Instead of tormenting Vince McMahon at every turn, Flair's waiting for him to be naughty then slapping his wrist. Instead of styling and profiling, he's waiting backstage to quietly have a word in his partner's ear. In short, he's a WUSS.

The fans that do know Flair know that he's got more to offer than the restrained owner act. To really get the prime cuts of Ric you gotta let him run wild. That was proven in WCW. Let him fuck with Vince's mind, booking title matches on the fly and making big decisions at the drop of a hat. Have him rehire a handful of the Alliance guys and then pit them against Vince's boys, just to piss him off. Hell, have him put Shane in a position of power, like the commissioner's role. Rather than just chastising Vince, Flair should be driving him insane at every opportunity.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm enjoying every second of Flair being on WWF television, and the changes in direction has refreshed the product no end. But Flair's return should have been promotion-changing, it should have been almost nWo-ish. Instead it was used for a quick rating and hometown pop then shuffled back into the deck, like so many other storylines. And, ultimately, the top feuds remain the same; just like the WWF/Alliance war, Flair/McMahon has become Rock/Jericho/Austin/Angle Part II.

So what should be done with Flair? As stated, I like the idea of Naitch rehiring the WCW/ECW talent, to fuck with Vince. Booker, Storm, DDP, Kidman, Hurricane, Raven, Chavo...A nice li'l clique in no danger of being fired thanks to Flair. It creates some new faces, it opens up the top card possibilities, and it leaves room for high-profile signings like Nash, Hall and Steiner. If necessary Flair can split off from the WWF with his boys to make the "new" WCW (or whatever the Hell it'll be called). If you really feel frisky, slap the nWo bumper stickers on them and give Uncle Eric one last big "Fuck You". Just do SOMETHING.

Point is, Ric Flair should be THE storyline right now. To use a JRism, Flair shouldn't be used to add a little sizzle to the steak, he should BE the steak. THAT would be interesting, that would make must-see TV. But please, don't make him kiss Vince's ass.

Ian Challis
The Shooters

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